tv Q A CSPAN March 7, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> pat mcguire, what's it like running trinity washington university? >> it's the best job anybody could ever have. it's new and exciting every single day. i chose to work in education because i love seeing students blossom in the care of great teachers like the faculty we have at trinity. it's a challenge every day, but it is the best possible kind of work because we literally change lives. >> how long have you been doing it? >> i've been at it for -- i'm in my 21st year. i started in 1989, and yet i still feel new and fresh every day. so the length of time has not diminished my enthusiasm one bit. >> why do you do it? >> i do it because i think education is one of the best ways to change our society, to help people improve their lives, to help improve the fate of the children, of the young women and older women who come to us. you know there's a saying if you educate the mothers, you'll educate the children and the families of the world. and that's what trinity's been doing for 112 years. and i just am happy to be a little part of that. >> how do you do it? >> how do we do it? well, that's always the question
i get. trinity was founded by religious women, the sisters of notre dame. and like many catholic women's colleges in this country, they didn't have much money -- and we still don't have much money. we do it with a lot of commitment on the part of the faculty and staff, the alums, our graduates, the trustees. people devote an enormous amount of time, far more than what we can pay them to do. we do it with a great deal of talent, in our faculty in particular. you know it's the faculty who teach and make the education happen. the students also have to invest themselves. the students love this school and they want to have this great education. they know that great women have graduated from trinity and they want to become just like them. so it's the combination of desire, talent, and occasionally some nice charitable gifts that help us along the way. >> former congressman barbara kennelly, current speaker of the house nancy pelosi, former
governor of kansas and hhs secretary -- >> kathleen sebelius. yes. >> -- and it goes on. >> yes. >> and cathie black who runs hearst. >> hearst magazines. we have such a wonderful roster of distinguished alums both from those eras. barbara kennelly was class of 1958 and is a dear friend and was one of our first great superstars in congress. and of course speaker of the house nancy pelosi, class of 1962, her class loves to come to reunions and talk about their days at trinity. we've also had maggie williams, class of 1977, was hillary clinton's chief of staff when mrs. clinton was in the white house. and maggie was the highest ranking african-american in the clinton white house in her time, class of 1977. but even today from the classes of the '90s and the aughts, if you will -- the 2000-plus -- we have younger graduates now who are beginning to set the
stage for their great careers also. >> i want to thank daniel devise -- i'm not sure, is that the way he pronounces it? >> devise. dan devise. >> oh. thank you for helping. for this, which we wouldn't know you without this cover story and washington post magazine a couple weeks ago, the soul of trinity. >> well, yes. >> what led to that because this is -- i suspect you'd kind of like this. >> oh, it's a wonderful story. and dan did a terrific job. and of course you know most of us who are the subject of newspapers articles are a little sheepish. we might you know say well what's that going to be like? he did a great story. and what i love about the story is that he brought in our students, our faculty and our alums. so it's not just about me. it's about the entire institution and the way we grew. it was the occasion of my you know now 21st year at trinity. most college presidents serve maybe six or eight years so i've sort of been at this for a much longer period of time.
but he interviewed scores of people, alums, trustees, students and faculty, and really put together i think a very accurate and lovely story about how trinity has grown and changed over the years. >> what's the -- the school -- and you can correct my language -- was in the dumper. >> well -- >> probably a lot of people won't want to hear that but they were -- when you went there, they were in trouble, weren't they? and you were 36 years old. >> -- i was 36 years old. i didn't know anything about being a college president. i was a graduate of georgetown law school. i had run a clinical program, the street law clinic of georgetown. i was devoted to keeping kids in d.c. out of trouble. and then i went from running that program to running the development office at the law school and helping to raise money to build the edward bennett williams law library. it was great. and at age 36, alma mater tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if i wanted to be president. and i thought, wow, this is a
great opportunity for a school that i love and for a kind of job that is intellectually extraordinarily fascinating. trinity did have a hard time, and it was not unlike most other women's colleges and catholic women's colleges. you know back in the day before co-education became popular in the '60s and '70s in this country, there were about 300 women's college and about 190 of them were catholic. and today there's about 50 women's colleges still operating and about 16 are catholic. and the change was because of title ix, equalizing women's opportunities at the big university. for the catholics the change was also about the nuns had worked for free and it was easy to sustain institutions on the free labor of women. but the nuns went into other ministries or left the convent after the second vatican council for catholics. and so the whole basis of operating these kinds of institutions changed. and we had to decide in 1989 and 1990 if we wanted to
continue, if there was a way for trinity to continue. and that was part of the challenge i had when i took office. >> how many students do you educate every year? >> this year we're educating 2,000 students in four different academic units. our traditional women's college -- the original historic trinity college -- has more than 800 students this year, and we're very proud of that because it had just about 300 when i started. so we've grown. in addition to that, we have students in our school of education, teachers and principals getting their master's degrees. we have a school of professional studies for adult working men and women. we are co-educational in the school of professional studies and school of education. and we're just starting a school of nursing and health professions, and that's very popular. the regional healthcare community loves the fact that trinity is getting into nursing and we hope soon to get into allied health professions. >> what's the tuition? >> tuition this year is $19,360. we're going to increase it by about 2 percent for next year
so it'll be about $19,700. that is still significantly less than any other private college or university in this region, and it's about $6,000 less than the national average for private colleges. i should also mention that we give substantial financial aid. we give trinity grants that are equal to about 40 percent of that tuition price. many of our students also are eligible for pell grants, which are federal grants or local grants from the district of columbia or their states. >> i read in mr. devise's article that 67 percent of your students are african-american. >> that's right. >> and is that a change? >> that is a huge change for trinity. back when i was a trinity student and historically, trinity served predominantly catholic women from the east coast and from a few other catholic enclaves, chicago, some from the west coast, predominantly irish catholics you know the ethnic catholics. and as our population declined in the 1970s and 1980s because those women who historically
had come to trinity went off to the big men's co-ed universities. we had to decide where was our future? should we go co-ed? we asked ourselves that question, should we go co-ed? and it was the sisters of notre dame who founded trinity and sustained us all those years who said look right out at your doorstep. look at the educational needs of the women of the district of columbia, closely in prince george's county and montgomery county. there are women right here in the washington region who can benefit from this education so very much. they don't look like us. they will be predominantly african-american, latina. they will probably be women, in many cases, from low-income households but they have the desire to learn. back to that thing about educating the mothers changes the families. >> twenty-one percent hispanic, 6 percent white. >> right. exactly. >> march 1, newsweek magazine, article by evan thomas and pat wingert, just want to read it. it's called minority report. >> ok.
>> the picture of diversity -- black, white and brown students cavorting or studying together out on the quad -- is a stock shot in college catalogs. the picture on graduation day is a good deal more monochromatic. quote, "if you look at who enters college, it " looks like america," says hillary pennington, director of postsecondary programs for the bill and melinda gates foundation which has closely studied enrollment patterns in our education. "but if you look at who walks across the stage for a diploma, it's still largely the white upper income population." >> well, that in fact is true for most large state universities and for many private universities as well. in fact, the recent data about college completion rates shows that it's not about race, it is about social class and income levels. and in fact it is true that the lower the income level of the student, the more likely it is that the student is probably
from a family that is african- american or hispanic or a mixed race or some other factor. but the fact is that students who have to pay for college themselves, who have to work while they're in school, whose families cannot afford to pay those tuition bills, take a lot longer to complete college. now i happen to believe that many of those students actually do complete college eventually but not in the four to six year timetable that we know as the traditional completion timetable. the problem is the way that the federal government tracks graduation rates means that students who take a little longer to complete, who maybe switched from full time to part time status and finished 10 or 12 years later, they're considered dropouts. they don't get counted in these graduation rates. so one of the things that has to happen is a new formula, a new way of tracking student progress through college to be able to capture those students who have stopped out for many reasons. the stop outs occur -- we
track this at trinity very carefully -- a student will stop out of her college education because she's had a baby, because she's caring for a sick parent or maybe caring for siblings, or maybe she's supporting a husband who's trying to complete his education. it is not always the case by any stretch, that the students just can't do the work or -- and decide not to go to college anymore, their educations have been interrupted for many reasons. and often they will come back later on in life and complete the degrees. >> in the middle of your campus -- and i counted what, seven buildings, eight buildings? >> yes. eight buildings now. >> eight buildings. there's this $23 million sports facility, brand new. what year did you build it? >> we started -- we broke ground in the year 2000. it opened in 2003, and it's been a magnificent experience for trinity. prior to having the trinity center for women and girls in sports, we called it, we had never really had a place where we could convene many thousands
of people in large number. we didn't have indoor sports facilities of any serious kind for modern athletics. and as a result of creating the center, we now have more than 30,000 visitors come to our campus to participate in programs at the trinity center. we also have improved all of our athletic teams. and now we're able to support teams like volleyball and lacrosse and soccer and other teams that we didn't -- weren't able to have before. so that helps us with recruiting. >> where'd you get the money? >> oh, we had a wonderful, wonderful outpouring of support from not only our alums -- who were quite generous -- but also from the local corporate and foundation community. we received gifts in the capital campaign that supports the trinity center from sources we had never ever seen before. and part of the genius of the trinity center, which many in our local regions like many of the many of the corporate and foundation sources, not only did it support trinity's needs and athletic programs, it also was
specifically designed to be a center for our community to enjoy. and we conduct many different programs through the center, for children in the community, for senior citizens and others. everybody loves it in the community. >> now, one of the things i noticed when i was there is that the washington hospital center brings people over there who have cardiac problems and they have -- you have a walk track there and a facility where they can be checked. >> right. >> now, how much of that -- is this something that you've seen in other schools? or how much -- where did you get this idea? >> well, partnership is one of the ideas that we've really enacted at trinity for the last 20 years. when i started as president, we didn't have too many partners in the community. we were pretty isolated. and one of the things i realized as i went out to work with the business community and talk about trinity was that there were many different kinds of organizations who really were eager to partner with a private university like trinity. but we had not really extended
ourselves that way. one of those was the washington hospital center and the medstar group, which also includes the national rehab hospital as well and georgetown hospital here. and as we started constructing the sports center, they began to ask me whether there were ways that they could work with us. and along the way we developed this concept for the cardio rehabilitation unit because the docs said they really would prefer that their patients needing to get their post- procedure therapy come to a beautiful place like trinity where it was not only convenient but also safe and restful for the patients to work on their recovery. for us it's a great partnership because it not only brings the patients into the trinity center who ultimately wind up joining our health club at the trinity center, too. it also is a future opportunity for us as we expand our academic programs into allied health professions to add clinical opportunities right
there. we also partner with the girl scouts -- they use that center quite a lot -- and with many area amateur athletic organizations. just the other night we hosted the gonzaga dematha boys' basketball game in the gym and it was quite popular. now the building wasn't designed for a lot of men's sports, but in fact we do have men's sports there and it's quite popular for many in the community. so we host many different kinds of events. >> we'll get back to some of the school, but talk about -- i've got stacks of your blogs. >> oh dear. ok. >> when did you start blogging and where can people read your blogs? >> well, people can read my blog right on trinity's web site on the front page. it's www.trinitydc.edu. i started blogging -- i think my oldest blog might be around 2005. and i thought i would explore blogging as a way to put trinity out there in a different way. you know everybody expects the
college president to sell the school and talk about how great the school is. and that's what i do and i love doing that. but i also believe that behind selling the school, if you will, we have to have ideas. we have to stand for something. we have to help people understand the great issues of our day. i also believe deeply in freedom of speech, and i like to model freedom of speech. as an academic institution, everybody on our campus should be free to speak and say what they you know believe and want to tell the world. and i feel it's the same for me as others. so i used the blog to talk about higher education. i talk a little bit about trinity. i also talk about contemporary issues in a way that i hope says that trinity is a place that is thoughtful, we identify issues we care about, we want to have debates about them, and invite comments on the blog. and i hope people will always feel free to differ from my opinion whenever something is on there.
>> is it also published in the washington post? >> i have a different blog in the washington post. i was invited to be one of the guest panelists on a blog called on success, which is part of the washington post online. and there's a group of maybe about 10 of us who are different kind of civic and business leaders here in the washington region. and we write about topics on success twice a week. so the current on success blog that's posted asks the question can toyota recover its reputation? the one we are going to be posting i think today or tomorrow is about will jay leno bounce back? how do you recover what was once a successful show? anything having to do with how do people get back on their feet or to become successful -- we had a lot of blogs around tiger woods, can he ever regain his success? so i was very pleased to be invited and i enjoy writing. so that's twice a week in the washington post online. >> here's from your own blog
from january 24, 2010. my democratic friends are saying i've lost my mind. my republican friends -- yes, i have one or two -- are wondering what i'm up to. for one thing, senator-elect brown's chevy truck with 200,000 miles on it sparks new hope for the possibility of my own senate seat some day. my truck has 165,000 miles on it. ok, it's a honda crv, which is barely classified as a truck -- and you go on. but you then get serious and you say, first, the filibuster- proof senate was a bad idea all along. >> yes. >> first thing, though, you tell us on many occasions that you're a democrat. >> well, i am well known for liberal views. and while i don't try to be overly political -- in fact, yes, i am. >> and is that often the case for an administrator of a college or university? >> oh no. i know many college presidents who are republicans and independents.
i think our political views are all over the map. i don't think it's true, the stereotype that we're all a bunch of liberals is not true. >> i didn't mean that so much as how many of them are on a regular basis are outspoken about their own particular views? >> oh, i think many college presidents are much more guarded because in some institutions actually they're not allowed to say things for fear that donors or trustees would be upset about that. i don't think that's healthy. i think that when you're the leader of an academic institution, you need to model the idea that you should be able to speak freely, certainly responsibly. i mean, i -- among other things -- try to emphasize -- as i did at the beginning of that article -- that we have to look at both sides of these issues. and in that particular blog, i was saying you know the democrats should not be in such a fit about using their filibuster proof majority in the senate. in fact, the most important thing is not which party you are but do we have a healthy democratic process going on?
are we able to engage this debate with a sense of integrity, with a sense of intellectual class? and nobody should feel afraid to express their point of view, including me as a college president. but we should honor the idea of robust debate. and i fear that's been lost in congress entirely where everyone is expected to march in lock step to their party. i disagree with that entirely. >> how often do you testify? >> i get called upon to testify you know maybe a couple times a year. i'm very active with some of our educational associations here in the american council on education, the national association of independent colleges and universities and because i'm local, because i have testified a lot so i'm really used to the routine, and also because trinity is not a conventional type of university and it helps all colleges for those of us who speak in a different voice to testify. i like to do that. >> does trinity take federal funds?
>> trinity itself has very few federal grants directly supporting our programs. but our students of course receive federal financial aid. so most of our students, in fact, have federal loans, pell grants, that sort of thing. >> go back to that $19,000 figure -- >> yes. >> -- on tuition. how much does the average student pay of that herself or himself? >> the average full time student pays probably you know no more than $1,000 or $2,000 out of pocket directly without some sort of subsidy. in addition to the trinity grant, which comes out to about $8,000 for many students, pell grants can be as much as $5,000. d.c. students get d.c. tuition assistance grants. different states have different programs. and then the federal loans can go anywhere from 2,500 all the way up to, for graduate students, $20,000 a year. >> explain the d.c. tuition grants. >> d.c. tuition assistance grants came
into being in the year 2000. and it's a program that eleanor holmes norton and then congressman tom davis wanted very much to be able to provide some kind of support for families in the district of columbia who did not have the same kind of collegiate public opportunities that families in states like virginia or maryland might have. there is one public university here in the university of the district of columbia. but a family that lives in virginia would have george mason, james madison, uva you know and a great number of families. so families were leaving d.c. to move to the states in order to have more collegiate opportunities at the public level. and what mrs. norton and congressman davis created was a program that will pay a student up to $10,000 a year to go to any public university in the country. it offsets the out-of-state tuition rate at public universities outside of d.c.
but if they choose private colleges in d.c., they can get up to $2,500 a year. so it's a little grant here. there is another program that matches that called the d.c. college access program, or dc- cap. that's a privately funded program that also puts matching money into the student financial aid package. and don graham of the washington post was the organizer of that. and there are a number of major business leaders now who support dc-cap. so those two programs together provide a great deal of scholarship-type support for d.c. residents to go to colleges and universities all over the country. it's a great program. >> so if you're a kid in the district of columbia, you've got a lot of good things there available. >> there is a lot of financial aid available. there should be no student in the district of columbia, no matter their income level, should say that they cannot afford to go to college. there are plenty of scholarship support programs, plenty of opportunities for students to go to really great institutions
like trinity but also like some of the great private and public institutions in this region. >> what percentage of your students come from the district itself? >> we have about 40 percent of our students are from d.c., graduates, mostly graduates of the d.c. public schools. and then approximately another 30 percent come from the state of maryland. that's our next largest group, prince george's county, lower montgomery county. >> so what's a day like for president pat mcguire? >> oh, my days are great. >> take it from the beginning. >> i've had no day that's the same. i get up about 5:30 every morning. i'm usually at work by around 6:30 or 7 because that is the quiet time. i get work done between 7 o'clock and 8 o'clock in the morning. and then usually starting about 8 o'clock, the meetings start, the staff colleagues start coming in knocking at my door, students will come in. we're not a very hierarchical organization. my office is right on the main corridor of the school, and
people are welcome to come in and stop by. i have quite a few boards that i sit on off campus and -- or different organizations that i connect to. so invariably in the course of the day i will have outside commitments also. so lunchtime might be downtown with the board of trade or off with the goodwill of greater washington where i sit on the board. i try to at some point in the day answer some e-mail. i get a couple hundred e-mails every day. so that's you know -- but i try to stay on top of that. and then usually in the evenings is when i try to write, try to stay on top of the long- range planning that we always have to do. and that's, again, when everybody goes home and there's more quiet time. it's a lot of hours in the job, but that's true of every college president. these are jobs that are certainly not nine to five jobs and require a lot of public space and public interface, and then you have to find time to have the quiet time so you can think.
and there are days when i get to 9 o'clock and realize i haven't thought much that day because i've been reacting. actually, doing the different blogs, doing as much writing and public speaking as i do, helps me to keep the intellectual side of my life somewhat alive and well because the danger is you can always spend all of your time on administration. >> in the article in the post it gave your salary of $202,000. >> yes. >> it talks about the -- is the average professor at $60,000? >> about $60,000. yes. >> how does both -- how do both of those figures track with other presidents? >> well -- >> and professors. >> -- yes. both of those are lower than the norm for our kind of institution. we do benchmark our salaries all the time, mine and also our faculty. our faculty salaries today are around 90 to 95 percent of similar salaries at similar institutions. so we've made a lot of progress. when i started, those salaries
were down around 60 percent of the cohorts. so improving faculty salaries has been one of my main objectives. i should also point out that that salary is a 10-month salary, so it's not a full 12- month salary because faculty tend to work 9 or 10 months a year and then they can earn additional money if they want to work in the summer or teach additional courses, that sort of thing. as presidential salaries go, i feel very comfortable that mine is quite responsible. i mean, after 20 years i'm still among the more modestly paid presidents in the country. i have a peculiar point of view about presidencies and presidential compensation. i think we are workers in the vineyard along with our faculty. i don't think it's right when presidential salaries or perks get well out of line. so my salary is, i think the last we looked, was about 70 percent of our cohort. but i also think there are some salaries that are terribly inflated. and we have to be sensitive to our times and our institutional types. >> what was your reaction then to the recent controversy over
the president of brown university ruth simmons who was paid, i think, $350,000, roughly, by goldman sachs to sit on their board -- >> yes. >> -- plus making a tremendous amount of money as the president of that school. >> yes. well, you know it's interesting, college presidents were sought after to sit on corporate boards for a long time for bringing a sense of class and prestige to those boards. and there was a time when that was considered to be perfectly acceptable and indeed a feather in the cap not only of the president but the school. then after the enron scandal and now with the banking collapse, all of a sudden all of these positions are being called into question. so i think it's a little bit unfair to say that, well, ruth simmons shouldn't be doing that when in fact probably 10 years ago when she joined goldman sachs, it was considered to be a very big thing for brown. now, how college presidents who are on corporate boards conduct themselves you know is an important question. do we have enough knowledge? do we have enough time to
devote to that? i was surprised to read that ruth at one point was on three different boards at the same time, corporate boards. that's a lot because to be a good corporate director today requires a lot of time. and i should disclose, as i'm discussing this, i also am on a corporate board, a life insurance company, a board called unified. it pays a lot less than that. it is separately compensated. my board has approved that. but it does take a lot of time. so you have to be a good steward of the public interest and the boards. why do any of us do this? well, i'll tell you my experience on both corporate board and also the non-profit boards i sit on has been a vital part of my continuing education as a college president. i have learned how to manage, how to read financial statements, how to delve into audit reports, and so forth, that really literally it's worth thousands of dollars worth of continuing education for me. in addition to that, it does open doors. it does help us with our fundraising interests to be
able to meet other corporate leaders who may have an interest in helping to support the school. so there are many different angles on that question. it's a tough question. the most important thing for any of us in this position is to ask ourselves every day is this engagement responsible stewardship for my institution? i ask myself is this good for trinity? and if it is and if i can answer that honestly then i keep moving forward. i have, on occasion, declined to serve on boards or even resign from boards where i felt it was not a healthy experience and that i should not continue. >> go back to the very basics. what is a college supposed to do or a university for students? >> the first and most important job of any college or university is to provide the student with the knowledge, the skill sets, the values, the competencies, to be a successful person in life. and i say person rather than worker. being a productive worker, part
of the workforce, is very important. but being a successful person is really the ultimate long- term goal. we know that students are likely to change their careers 3 or 4 times and their jobs 10 to 12 times in the course of a lifetime. so unfortunately today so much of the emphasis on outcomes in collegiate education focuses on workforce development. and that tends to diminish the ultimate value of a college education which is to form a person who can become a self- actualized learner, somebody who can keep learning no matter what the circumstances are, somebody who can be bright enough to adapt to new technologies that are not around today. i mean, when i went to college we didn't have the internet. we didn't have cell phones. my students think i crawled out of a cave you know? and somehow we've all learned to use all of today's technology quite well. we have to educate today's students for technology and for
circumstances we can't imagine. the most important thing is that students will be successful, they'll be ethical, and they will be able to continue to build a successful society far in the future for circumstances we don't know today. >> what are your mcguireisms? what do you -- i mean, what do you teach a young person about the basic things you want them to know about life? >> yes. well, number one that i feel very strongly about -- and we have an honor system at trinity so we do this -- always tell the truth. do not try to manipulate the truth for your own benefit. and i try to live by that myself all the time. and you know shame on me if i get caught not living up to my own standard. secondly, work hard. there is no such thing as overnight success. i work very hard. i've worked hard all my life, and i'm very proud of that. there is no shortcut to being excellent. the third thing, don't expect to measure all of the results
of your work by your salary or your perks or you know how much acclaim you get. the most important thing in doing good honest ethical work is have you improved somebody else's life today? and if somebody else's life has been improved, that's reward in and of itself. so that may sound like bromides, but it's really true. do what you love, love what you do, and work hard. >> what's with the camera? >> the camera, oh. >> you're everywhere with your camera. >> yes. i started -- you know thank god for digital photography because i started as a film photographer. it was costing me a lot of money, and i don't think i was as good at it as i might have been because it was an expensive hobby. but when digital came along, suddenly i took to it because digital was actually far less expensive to learn how to do and to use. what i discovered was on campus
being a photographer and taking pictures of sports events -- i love to do that -- helps bring me closer to students in a very friendly and sort of engaging way. students love to have pictures of themselves. so i take pictures of the athletes. at the athletic banquet every year i give them blown-up pictures of themselves and so forth. so it's a way to engage with them. what i have developed in the last 10 years or so as a sort of private hobby for myself is a very restful and serene avocation in wildlife photography. so i have developed some opportunities for myself to go off into the wilderness. i'll go down to the eastern shore. in the summer i go up to the adirondacks. and i find that just sitting in my kayak all day waiting to get the perfect eagle or you know the perfect osprey shot is not only great photography but it also helps me destress. i've discovered that it's a wonderful way to be
artistically expressive and yet very, very relaxing. so i love doing it. >> how catholic is trinity washington university? >> well, we are very catholic in ways that we believe are important. sometimes people will that there aren't many catholics there. we live the gospel every day. we live the social justice mission of the sisters of notre dame. the sisters of notre dame founded trinity to make a higher education accessible to women who were barred from higher education back in 1897. in the first part of our history those women tended to be catholic women who couldn't get access to the men's universities. today we educate women who cannot have access because of barriers of money or family circumstances or prior academic preparation. and we literally are changing lives and even serving souls every day. so we live this commitment. most of our students are not catholic. many of our faculty are not
catholic. but the issue is not are they catholic. the issue is are we catholic and how do we live our faith? and the kind -- >> the we refers to who? >> -- to me and to my colleagues and to the institutional identity that we carry. so with our faculty and staff, regardless of their individual religion, we insist that they of course have to honor our own catholicism in the way we live our lives on campus to be the most important. the most important characteristic of a catholic college is do we live an institutional life that is in service to others, that is premised on the idea of charity toward all, and that gives a value to other human lives that is dignified and upholds their lives. >> your spokeswoman ann pauley told me that there are 12 nuns that live there -- >> yes. >> -- and one that teaches? >> yes. one still teaches. yes. sister mary, she is an historian. she's also our college archivist.
and she is one of the great favorites of all of our students and alums. certainly when i went to school there were a lot more sisters of notre dame were there, a lot more were teaching. but as has happened in most catholic schools, the number of religious has declined over the years. young women today do not join religious orders in the number that they did in the past because there are many other ways for catholic women to you know feel the call and live their lives. most of us who are lay catholics now feel very challenged to continue these ministries in schools like trinity. and so we try to understand the carries of the mission of the sisters who founded the place and hope that we do a good job to continue it. >> you walk in the front door of the main building. there's a big banner up there saluting nancy pelosi. >> yes. >> i have something that won't surprise you. this is from some operation called lifenews.com. >> right. >> and the controversy is about what your relationship is with nancy pelosi -- >> that's right. >> -- the catholic church's relationship with her.
this says trinity president patricia mcguire attended the speech -- meaning the -- i guess it was president bush's speech -- >> state of the union address several years ago. >> -- when she was speaker. >> yes. >> and after that mrs. sebelius gave the response from the democratic party. but this -- the whole issue is -- and i'll read this, that nowhere on the trinity web site is sebelius's support for abortion mentioned, pat reilly, president of the group, told lifenews.com. "it runs contrary to the very purpose of the catholic university to apply the pursuit of power for gravely immoral ends," reilly explained, "by deliberately associating itself with vocal advocates of what pope john paul ii called a culture of death. trinity university has taken the low road." deal with this one. >> well, i obviously disagree with that blog and with other bloggers of that, although they certainly have every right to express their opinion. the fact of the matter is both nancy pelosi and kathleen sebelius have chosen careers in politics. and it's part of the work and
life of politicians to represent their constituents as they see fit and also to engage with the tough political issues of our time. i think in both cases i know both women. both of them are very good women who care deeply about their faith, actually. they are mothers themselves. they have raised good families, and they have thought deeply about these issues. they have engaged in conversation with their bishops about these issues. now, it is the role of the bishops to call each of us who hold leadership positions to fidelity to church teaching. and if the bishop thinks that i or mrs. pelosi or secretary sebelius are going off the beam, the bishops will speak to us about that. and i know that the bishops have spoken to them. archbishop rural wuerl and i have had conversations about this in d.c. >> does he criticize you? >> no. he has not criticized. he's been very pastoral. we've talked about the fact that as a diverse institution with many graduates who do many
different things, we in fact honor our graduates and we honor their accomplishments. honoring a graduate like secretary sebelius or speaker pelosi for their great accomplishment as the first women or one of few women to achieve these positions doesn't mean we agree with every political position they have and it doesn't necessarily diverge at all from teachings. we're faithful to church teachings. >> do you take a position on abortion in your blogs or in your -- >> yes. i have spoken out in my blogs. i myself am pro-life. and in fact, i've addressed this issue on my blog several times where we can certainly express pride in our famous political graduates without agreeing with them on their positions on abortion. and i have said that several times on there. >> what do you think of the organizations that do take you on for this kind of thing? >> well, again, i think we need to recognize them as political organizations also. they do not necessarily always speak for the catholic church.
the church is a large organization and a very diverse organization. it is clear that the church's teaching prohibits abortion and prohibits support for any legislation that would promote abortion. and pro-choice is not acceptable to the church. so we have to be very clear about that. and i think i've been very clear in my blog and in what i say about that. >> who in the church has anything to say about you? >> it would be the bishop of washington, archbishop wuerl, because the rules governing catholic universities require each of us to have a relationship with our local bishop. so he is the person to whom i relate and to whom i go. i will sometimes prompt the discussions saying you know there's this thing that is troubling, how do we deal with this? and we have a wonderful relationship, and he's very pastoral. >> costs you how much a year to operate? >> trinity this year we have a $28 million budget which is actually quite small.
we could have a budget that was significantly larger than that. but we're a lean operation. we measure every penny and every dollar invested. >> how many professors? >> we have 60 full time faculty and about 100 part time faculty. >> back to your blog, "in this noisy imminently narcissistic culture where fame is too often prized over excellence, parents and teachers face considerable challenges in teaching children about real success. with the news full of teachable moments such as the salahis crashing the white house party -- allegedly -- opportunities abound for responsible adults to talk with kids about the difference between getting on tv for doing something stupid versus being recognized for real achievements. rather than focusing on the gate crashers, talk about the legitimate guest list and why people of achievement were invited to the white house. what chances do you have that in this society they're going to talk about the legitimate guest list?" >> well, we're in the business
of trying to help our students -- predominantly young women and some of the older women and men who come to us -- understand that you should focus on achievement in your own life and not be looking to grab headlines. you know this is the age of american idol, the age of so many of these so-called reality tv shows. and unfortunately too many young people in particular -- and i see this in younger students coming out of high school -- believe that they should be rewarded for showing up, believe that they should get a's because they wrote the paper and don't understand the genuine success. it is hard work. it sometimes is lonely work and sometimes it takes years to reach the pinnacle of achievement. and the pop culture suggests that we can blow through all of that and just crash the party, show up, be on tv. and that's a myth. you cannot ultimately be
successful if you don't have the knowledge and the skill sets that will support real success. >> here's from your blog of february 20. "in my next life, i will eat wheaties every day. i will take care of my knees from day one. i will stop being afraid of small patches of ice. i will learn to slide and skate with knees bent. i look great in full length spandex. i will get a gold medal for championship dreaming." >> yes. i doubt that i'll be a snowboarder, although i watched the snowboarders at the olympics thinking, wow, what must it be like to be able to do that? in my younger days i was a basketball player. i wrecked my knees. you know it is hard to, in fact, stay fit. i do swim every day in our pool at the trinity center, and in the summer times when i can get out in my kayak i love to go kayaking up the lake or down on the potomac river. i think it's very important for all of us who sometimes struggle with staying fit to say
we're keeping that ball in front of us and we're going to keep working on it. i love the olympics so it gave me new hope for getting back in shape. >> here's from one of your washington post columns. "no whining, ever, not at work, not about your existential ennui with this job that is supporting your lifestyle. not about your co-workers who have to put up with your obsession with your unhappy choice of this occupation. not about the size of the paycheck you have not exactly earned what with all the time you spent tweeting your complaints. not about your boss -- who unbeknownst to you and your narcissistic focus on your own misery -- has spent sleepless nights trying to figure out how to make you happy." >> yes. i meant every word of that. in fact, i really believe -- this is another piece of what i try to say to students and others and this comes from my employer hat, if you will -- you have to love what you do
and you have to understand that if you're in a workplace and you're not happy, you shouldn't spread that disease. you should instead figure out how to get to a different place in your life. i believe for most people who are reasonably well educated and who have made choices about where they will work, they have to decide that if it's not working out for them, they need to move on. and that's very hard. you know choosing not -- choosing -- making a decision that you won't continue to do something that you thought would work out for you sometimes can be the hardest decision at all, when to leave, when to part company. but i've seen people hold places of business hostage because they were unhappy, weren't doing their jobs very well, making everybody else unhappy, too. so part of being a real grownup in the workplace and emotionally mature is blowing the whistle on yourself sometimes and getting out of it. >> who sits on your board? how big is it? >> i have 17 trustees.
the chair laura phillips is a lawyer here in town with drinker biddle. about half of the board are alums of trinity. and there are four sisters of notre dame from our founding congregation. and the balance are other what we would call public members, if you will, business leaders from the washington region who are very interested in trinity. for example, barbara lang, who is the president of the d.c. chamber of commerce, is a member of our board. dr. ed healton, who is the chief medical officer at the national rehabilitation hospital, is on our board. it's a wonderful board. and hard workers. >> are they all catholic? >> no. no. they're very diverse. most of them are catholic, but we don't say you only have to be catholic. but they all share our mission, and that's the important part. >> you grew up in a family of seven. >> yes. >> boys, girls? >> five boys, one sister. my sister is the oldest. she's about 10 years older than me.
and then the rest are boys. >> where were you born? >> philadelphia. philadelphia, pennsylvania. i was the third child out of the seven. and we were a wonderful family. mom's still with us, and god love her, i go up and see her quite regularly. we were a pretty conservative household. dad was a nixon republican and he made sure that we were all wearing nixon buttons in 1960. in our catholic school in first grade i wore a nixon button and the nuns couldn't quite figure that one out because most catholics were for kennedy in those days. >> when did you become a democrat? >> well, this was -- this was the interesting story. of course, when i came away to college -- i loved politics. politics -- i thought i would run for elective office some day, and of course i instead have a different kind of political job. but when i came to trinity, i chose trinity. i had a full tuition scholarship but because it was in washington, i loved the idea of coming to school in d.c.
and as i became involved -- this was 1970 -- came to trinity, got involved in the anti-war movement, suddenly you know became exposed to many new and different ideas that i had never seen before. so over time, obviously, became increasingly liberal and soon became a democrat, much to my dad's chagrin. we had many long talks about what was happening to me, really. but you know that's part of the educational process. and i just wish he had lived longer because we might have closed the loop again on some of those discussions. >> of your six siblings, are they all alive, by the way? >> oh yes, they are. thank god. >> what's the breakdown in politics among the six? >> i don't ask that question. when we get together, we don't discuss politics. >> never? >> so -- well, we make jokes about it but i suspect most of them probably are still pretty conservative from the other social views they express. >> in this article that started all this for our discussion
with daniel devise -- >> devise, yes. >> -- called the soul of trinity, and near the end he writes as mcguire enters her third decade in the presidency, her value to the school cannot be overstated. she seems to run every administrative meeting, to attend every campus event, to photograph every basketball game. pauley -- that's your spokeswoman -- once walked into the president's office to find mcguire assembling one of the ikea lamps that light the marble hall in the administration building. and i have to tell you, ann pauley showed me that lamp. she said that's one of the lamps. but the reason i mention that is one of the criticisms you get is your successor. is there one? and how long are you going to do this? >> right. well, how long i'm going to do this is probably the more pertinent question right now. and i always say god and the board of trustees willing. it's not my decision. it's up to the lord and it's up to the board. and i work at their pleasure both. we have a big project that we're just organizing right now to build a new academic center
that would include new classroom building, renovation of our library and science building. that is at least a five year or longer project. i'm just 57. you know i started this job when i was very young. so in many ways i've had three or four presidencies in the same job and have grown and changed. and i still wake up every morning with a great deal of not only enthusiasm but a sense that maybe today i'm really going to get it right. you know i never feel self- satisfied that i've done it all by any stretch. that article makes me feel a little foolish because it puts praise on things that i think, oh, i can do that better. you know so i'm always striving. having said that, i've been in business long enough and i'm enough of a corporate leader to know that you always have to have a very strong team behind you because i could be hit by the proverbial bus or decide to keep paddling upstream in my kayak someday and go live with the eagles and osprey. i have a great provost. dr. broaddus, ginger broaddus is our provost.
we are organized now with multiple academic units, so each unit has a dean. and the deans are wonderful and very strong. i have more vice presidents than i can count on most days. so building a management team whose job it is to run the place -- i mean, you know people say i go to every meeting, this and that. really that is not true. i've just come back from five days on the road in florida raising money and visiting alums. and somehow i got back on campus and everybody said, well, she's back. ok, fine. but you know the school runs. and that's the ultimate goal. someday when i do decide to move on, there will be a national search for this position, i'm quite sure. i mean, that's what is done. i hope that there will be a sufficient talent pool on campus and experience that there will be a number of credible candidates on campus. >> what do you expect this president, president obama, to do for college education, if anything? >> well, i think one of the
things that's going on right now that they're trying to do is to move the student loan system to away from the private loans that the banks are giving and completely to the federally funded. i happen to think that's a good thing because it will in fact put more money into pell grants also and make administration of the loan programs simpler. but it's a tough row to hoe because the sallie mae and the other private lenders are resisting very much. i also think that to the extent that secretary duncan and the obama administration can help us come up with a system that provides more transparency on our data in a good way, i think that's fine. i am not one of those presidents who resist the call to public accountability, which has been the mantra of both democratic and republican administrations. i think, however, there are problems within the department of education about the way they collect and manage the data that make it very hard for us
to compare apples to apples. i think it would be very harmful to do any kind of ranking system or grading system, which has been talked about. i don't know that obama so far has done that. i also think that there should be some greater attention paid to private colleges and universities in the mix. most of the obama initiatives right now are focused on community colleges, which is great. there are great community colleges and they can certainly be gateways. but some of the greatest work in the country is being done at places like trinity. we're not the only ones. but we are one of many smaller private colleges that are creating prototypes for how do you educate the new populations of students who previously have not participated in higher education. and i think there should be funding for that. >> two thousand students, tuition $19,000, $28 million operating fund, eight buildings on the campus, right across the street from catholic university -- and in the old days that was a men's college -- >> right.
>> -- what's the difference, do you think, in running a college, a university, that cater to women versus one that's catering to men? >> well, that's a great question. you know one of the big differences that is obvious to most is in larger co-ed universities, the athletics program and the title ix issues, title ix being the law that required equal funding for women at co-educational institutions. i can't speak for catholic university but men's sports in general tend to be very preoccupied with football, if there is a football team -- which is a very expensive sport to operate -- and very, very competitive men's basketball. i don't have to worry about having a football team. i don't also have to worry about having a law school or a medical school or any of those kinds of units that can be very challenging for the larger universities to run. what i do worry about and want to be competitive on is the quality of our academic facilities, our sciences, our library.
the quality of the pedagogy in our classrooms should not be any less or any different than the finest quality facilities in pedagogy and teaching you can get at any other university. so it's a scalability issue, and are we right-sized for what we're doing. >> just a couple moments left. what is the thing that you say to eventual contributors that get them? >> oh, absolutely the most important thing is that we are in fact making women today successful at trinity and a few good men. we are making our students successful in the same way that trinity always has made students successful but bringing success to students who might not have ever considered themselves to be able to be successful but for being at trinity. it's the "but for trinity" in their lives that really gets to the donors. i just gave this speech in florida to a group of our alums.
we are making opportunities happen for students who have never known opportunity before. and that is the most important thing any donor can support. >> in her 21st year, pat mcguire, president of trinity washington university, thank you for this time. >> so nice to talk to you today. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> for a copy of this program, callel the number on your scree. for free transcripts or to give us your comment about the k program, visit our web site. programs are also available as podcasts. >> next sunday on "q&a," ed
different view on education. after 12 years in the department of education, she founded and remains president of the clare boothe luce policy institute. that is next week on "q&a." >> up next, deputy leader harriet harman. after that, prime minister brown himself testifies before the british inquiry into the iraq war. after that, for ambassador paul bremer talks about the situation in iraq. >> tomorrow on "washington journal," we talk about the current trend of extreme distrust in government.